Avodah Mailing List

Volume 10 : Number 084

Monday, January 6 2003

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 1 Jan 2003 21:39:57 +0000
From: Chana Luntz <Chana@KolSassoon.net>
Re: Response re Genetics, from the respected Rav

In message
<>, Yosef
Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu> writes
>At 12:47 PM 12/26/02 -0600 Respected Rav wrote:
>>Now, I misread in haste what Chana was saying.
>>Of course there are mutations.  There are even reliable statistics as to the
>>rate of mutations in humans, and various species of animals.  However,
>>mutations that will affect eye color (aside from albinism, which is a
>>special case and which can be noted by the many other symptoms that appear
>>along with the color of the eye)

I am not sure that is right (although I am only going on a sliver of
information so it might be worth talking to a doctor who know more about
these matters).

During the process that David was being diagnosed, when they hadn't yet
had the MRI and worked out the cause, but there was clearly something
very wrong, the hospital was choshesh that it was Tay Sachs (despite me
having tested negative - and Robert being Sephardi). One of the things
they checked out in David was his eyes, because apparently there is
something about Tay Sachs that shows up in the eyes - I don't know what.
When he was seen by the eye doctor in the hospital (and they had a pretty
senior consultant look at him, to see if he could diagnose anything) -
he noted that David has what he described as a somewhat pale - I am trying
to remember the term for the back of the eye, which he said was unusual,
but nothing to worry about, ie should not affect sight in any way - and
he said it might well be a form of albinism. And I expressed surprise,
because I thought, like the view expressed above, that albinism involved
the whole body and lots of other symptoms. Note that David has lots
of colour and pigment all over, including in his eyes, which are a deep
brown colour. And the consultant said no, you can have very limited forms
of albinism, where there is a lack of colour in a particular place. I
didn't have a discussion with him about whether such a lack of colour
was or was not likely to be genetic, and of course nobody has looked at
either of Robert or my eyes that closely, so I have no idea which one
of us, if either, has an unusual pallor at the back of the eye (we both
have dark brown eyes), and since it is apparently completely benign,
I doubt anybody would have commented, if they hadn't been looking for
anything that might be unusual. But from this interchange I gathered
that you can have limited forms of albinism, ie where you lack pigment in
a particular place - and if it can happen in the back of the eye, maybe
it can happen to the part that generally generates the colour of the eye.


Chana Luntz

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Date: Sat, 28 Dec 2002 21:28:13 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
R"L and RSB"L

Anyone know a rule when it's Resh Lakish and when Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish?


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Date: Sat, 28 Dec 2002 22:04:48 -0500
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Re: BY disagreeing with Rambam

A while ago, R Eliyahu Gerstl asked:
> 3. Citations to the places in the Beit Yosef and/or in the (Karo) SA
> where the Beit Yosef/Mechaber does not follow the Rambam.

2 more data points:

In YD 23:2, BY rules like Bahag, Rashi, Smag, Smak & Mordechai against
Rambam and Ran (although he allows following the latter in case of large
monetary loss. Strange, because the BY rarely resorts to hefsed merubeh).

In YD 184, at the end, BY rules against Rambam WRT a woman whose date of
expected period has passed, whether the husband can assume that she is
still pure and hence can have relations with her while she is drunk or
otherwise *partly* incapacitated, even though he didn't ask her earlier
whether she is still tehorah. Rambam & Rif say yes except for the actual
date of expected onset of menstruation, whereas Ramban and Tosafot say
no, unless enough time has elapsed that in the hypothetical event she
menstruated, she could have waited 7 clean days and gone to miqveh. In
this case, BY is very critical of Rambam and Rif, saying "da'at a'heret
'altah imo" or something similar.

All the best,
Arie Folger
It is absurd to seek to give an account of the matter to a man
who cannot himself give an account of anything; for insofar as
he is already like this, such a man is no better than a vegetable.
           -- Book IV of Aristotle's Metaphysics

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Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2002 01:28:06 -0500
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
Re: Women and Kiddush

(I've been out of the loop for a few weeks, and am now catching up on my
Avodahs. Sorry for the delay.)

Someone wrote: <<< I know of some families that are of Galitcian descent
... that have this minhug that all the household, including the women,
say along kidush with the head of the household. This should solve the
problem. >>>

R' Jordan Hirsch asked <<< I do not understand. Would not this fall under
"Trei Kolei Lo Nishma'in."? Either that, or no one is being Motzei you,
you are merely making Kiddush for yourelf, albeit queitly. >>>

In Avodah 10:74, R' Carl Sherer answered <<< The latter would seem to
hold. This is also commonly done with Megilla in order to avoid the
problem of missing words. >>>

I'm glad you mentioned Megilla. Someone who missed a *few* words of
the Megillah can fill them in by reading them by heart, and reading
those words from a chumash is the equivalent of that. But those reading
the *whole* megilla with the koreh had better have a *kosher* megillah
in their hands that they are reading from, because that's what they're
trying to be yotzay with, and if it's not kosher then they're not yotzay
and are better off just listening to the koreh.

Similarly, those who say all of kiddush along with the leader better
have their own kos (or their own challah) on which they are saying that
kiddush, because they're using their own kiddush to be yotzay, rather
than the leader's kiddush. So says the Mishna Brurah in 271, s"k 2 and 3.
More info available inthe Shmira Shabbos K'hilchasa 47:39. (In other
words, RJH's comments seem to be totally in accord with the MB.).

Akiva Miller

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Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2002 16:50:11 +0200
From: mali and david brofsky <brofsky@netvision.net.il>
entering a church

any interesting mekoros on entering churches?

david brofsky

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Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2002 13:52:57 -0500
From: "Seth Mandel" <sm@aishdas.org>
Is Christianity Avodah Zara?

I have gone through this issue carefully, because of a conversation I
was having with some people, and thought I should put down my conclusions
here. I welcome comments.

Virtually all rishonim agree that Christianity is considered AZ [note
right now: this does not necessarily mean that individual Christians
are ovdei AZ; see the end]. As a matter of fact, the rishonim had the
uncensored g'moro in front of them, which states in Avodah Zara 6a that
"notzri l'olom osur," (regarding a Christian, Sunday is always osur to
do business). The Rambam paskens that lahalokho in Hil. AZ 9:4 "the
Christians are ovdei AZ and Sunday is their yom eid." [Both of these
statements have been erased from the printed editions.] As a matter of
fact, the Rambam is more explicit in his perush haMishanayos to AV 3:1:
"understand that all the Christian people who believe that the moshiach
has come are all ovdei AZ, regardless of their sect, and [it is forbidden
to do business with them] in any of their holidays, Sunday included. So it
is forbidden to do any business at all with those messianists on Sunday,
as it states in the g'moro."

The Me'iri is the odd man out here. He says that the whole halokho in
Avodah Zara is only talking about people who worship idols. He interprets
the word Notz'ri (lit. Nazerene, i.e. Christian) used in the g'moro
as referring to people who worshipped N'vukhadNetzar (a very forced
interpretation, since we know of no cult in Assyria to worship that or any
other king, even though we know a lot about their religion. Even if one
were to imagine that there were such a cult, it would have died out long
before the time of the g'moro, there having been many Assyrian kings since
then, and the Assyrian kingdom having been destroyed by the Persians. So
the Me'iri's interpretation is far-fetched, to put it charitably).

The rishonim that accept that Christianity is AZ mostly do not give clear
statements about why it is. The Rambam in Moreh N'vukhim 1:50 says that
they do not believe in One Indivisible God but in a trinity, which is
sufficient to make it AZ; it is also possible that the reason is that
they pray to a man. Whatever the reason, it was well accepted in the
Christian countries as well as in the Muslim countries that Christianity
was AZ, and so the rishonim apply various halokhos of AZ to the Gentiles
living around them in Christian Europe. We have statements by rishonim
from Spain, France, Germany, Italy and central Europe that show clearly
that they considered at least the priests to be ovdei AZ.

There is a separate halokho that a Jew should not form a partnership with
an oved AZ, lest they go to court and the Gentile take an oath by his AZ,
which would be a violation of "lo yisshama' 'al pikha," which the Torah
Sheb'Al Peh says forbids someone else to call upon the name of his god
because of you. This issur is brought in Sanhedrin 63b and lahalokho
in SA O.H. 156. However, in the time of the rishonim it was accepted
by many that this did not apply to Christians. The reason is brought by
Tosfos B'khoros 2a in the name of Rabbeinu Tam and by Rabbeinu Y'ruham
(17:5) in the name of the R'I. I shall translate the way it is brought
by the latter, since both the Beis Yosef (Y.D. 147, in Bedeq haBayis)
and the Darkhei Moshe (O.H. 156) quote the text from the latter,
(possibly because our text in Tosfos has been emended):

"Nowadays there is a hetter [to form a partnership with the Gentiles],
because they swear on their holy scriptures called the Evangelion, and
they do not hold them to be divine. And even though when they mention God
they mean Jesus, they do not mention AZ and they really mean the Creator
of heaven and earth. And even though they mention jointly God's name and
another name, there is no issur to cause someone to jointly mention God
with another [shittuf]... since shittuf is not osur to B'nei Noah."

At some unknown time the idea arose that Tosfos meant that Christianity
is not osur to B'nei Noah, since the only thing wrong with the religion
is shittuf. In a t'shuva by the son of the Noda' BiY'hudah (II, Y.D.
148) he says that this is a wide-spread misconception, and says that he
has searched all of Hazal's writings and found that it is baseless. He
explains that the view of Tosfos above quoted by the R'Ma' misled people,
but that it is a misconception: Tosfos, he says, agreed that Christianity
is AZ, but said that when the Gentile took an oath in court he was not
worshipping AZ, but swearing in the name of God and someone else, and
that is shittuf, which is not osur for a goy.

The position of the t'shuva is indubitably correct. In addition to his
proofs, consider this: the supposed view that it is muttar for a Ben Noah
to worship Christianity says that worshipping the One God together with
something else is OK. Would they then say that if someone first prostrated
himself to God and later prostrated himself to an idol, it would not be
AZ? That is indeed implied, but clearly no one would actually say that.

The Pis'hei T'shuva in Y.D. 147 quotes this t'shuva, and adds that the
M'il Tz'daqa, the Sha'ar 'Efrayim and the P'ri M'gadim all concur that
this view is mistaken. He then says, "IMHO, even though this is the truth,
it is impossible to hold that the R'Ma' agrees with this, since from his
language in Y.D. 151 and as quoted by the Sha'Kh the opposite is clear."

IOW, the Pis'hei T'shuva thinks that the R'Ma' holds a misconception,
which he himself thinks is erroneous!

But let us look at his proof:

The SA in 151:1 brings the issur of selling things to ovdei AZ that are
meant for their worship. The R'Ma' there summarizes what he says in the
Darkhei Moshe (which is what the Sha'Kh brings): "The Mordekhai in the
beginning of Avodah Zara writes that nowadays the custom is to sell to
the Gentiles rosary beads even though they use them to praise AZ and
are mostly [or always] used for AZ, because they could purchase them
elsewhere. The Ra'N says that it would be osur mid'Rabbonon. Tosfos in
Avodah Zara 6b appears to hold that there is no issur at all, but the
Mordekhai in Shabbos agrees with the Ra'N. however nowadays one can be
lenient for the reason that we are lenient about forming partnerships
with them, see O.H. 156."

The Pis'hei T'shuva reasons that if the view of the Noda' BiY'huda's
son is correct, then the fact that Gentiles would be allow to take an
oath in the name of Jesus would have no bearing at all on the issue of
selling them rosary beads, since the latter are used in praying to AZ.

However, the truth is that the Pis'hei T'shuva is mistaken. Not just
because it is hard to imagine that the R'Ma' didn't realize that Tosfos is
talking about taking an oath and not worshipping, but because the R'Ma'
himself considers Christianity to be AZ. Consider these references from
the Darkhei Moshe:

1. Y.D. 141. He applies the halokho of kelim which have symbols of AZ
to things which have the sign of the cross or that show a woman nursing
her baby.

2. Y.D. 150. He applies the halokho that one is not allowed to appear to
be bowing to AZ to priests or noblemen that have the sign of the cross
on their clothes or their hat.

3. Y.D. 151. As quoted above, he says that you can sell Christians
"rosary beads even though they use them to praise AZ" - clearly stating
that it is AZ.

4. Most interestingly, Y.D. 148:12. The Tur quotes a t'shuva of Rashi
saying that nowadays we can do business with Gentiles on their holidays
"since they are not ovdei AZ and do not go and thank their god. And
even though they give some of the money to their priests (tithing), it
is permitted. since the priests do not use the money to buy anything to
offer to AZ nor to decorate it, but use it for their food. Furthermore,
since most of a Jew's living is from doing business with them and we do
business with them all year round, if we were to avoid doing business on
their holiday, it would lead to hatred ['eivah], so it is permitted."
First, it is clear that this t'shuva distinguishes between regular
Gentiles and their priests, and the statement that "they are not ovdei
AZ" applies only to the former. The Beis Yosef there restricts this
hetter only for the case of doing business with the Gentiles, and does
not apply to the other simanim about AZ. Secondly, he says that "they
are not ovdei AZ" means that they are not experts in the AZ, and says
the source is the g'moro in Hulin 13b that "Gentiles outside EY are not
really ovdei AZ, but merely follow the customs of their ancestors." He
is saying that the actual religion may be AZ, but the Gentiles are just
following it out of custom, and are not really experts in the religion -
thus explaining why the priests would be different.

What is most interesting here is that the R'Ma', instead of using
this opportunity to second this notion that Gentiles nowadays are
not considered real ovdei AZ, says in the Darkhei Moshe "[however]
the Mordekhai is mattir for a different reason, namely that even though
they do give somethings for offering to AZ to their priests, it is only
such a small amount that the priests could get it from other Gentiles,
even if we did not lend money to them. The Trumas haDeshen says that
even nowadays if he wants to send him something on the eighth day
following Nitl that they call 'neu Jahr' [New Year], he should send it
the afternoon before and not on the holiday itself." The clear intention
of the R'Ma' is to point out that there is another reason to be mattir
WITHOUT subscribing to the notion that most Gentiles are not ovdei AZ,
and that you should perhaps avoid doing it on the holiday itself anyway.

Now that we have established that the R'Ma' himself considers Christianity
to be AZ, how can we explain the Pis'hei T'shuva's point?

The answer lies in a careful reading of the R'Ma'. As quoted above,
in Y.D. 151 he does not say "selling rosary beads is permitted because
Gentiles are not ovdei AZ, but brings a difference of opinion between
various rishonim about whether it is permitted or osur mid'Rabbonon, and
then says nowadays we can be lenient for the reason given in O.H. 156.
[Let me repeat: the R'Ma' is emphasizing that the hetter is itself a
matter of disagreement, and we can be meiqil only because there is
another reeason.] What he says in O.H. 156 was quoted fully above;
let me just emphasize certain point by capitalizing them: "even though
when they mention God they mean Jesus, they do not mention AZ and THEY
REALLY MEAN the Creator of heaven and earth. And even though they mention
jointly God's name and another name, there is no issur." It seems clear
to me that the hetter he is applying is similar to what the SA quoted in
Y.D. 148: that the Gentiles are not really experts in the doctrine of
the trinity or how their god is connected to God. When they say "god"
they mean the One God, and are not thinking "the Creator and the man
who was crucified." In Y.D. 148 the R'Ma' emphasized that this is not
the only reason to permit doing business, but an ancillary reason to be
added to an existing mahloqes. He is doing exactly the same in Y.D. 151,
saying, as I would paraphrase: "as an ancillary reason, we can add what
I already stated in O.H. 156, that they do not really think of AZ when
they take an oath [or whenever they mention God]" because they are not
really versed in the rules of their AZ, unlike their priests.

In summary, I have tried to establish that:

1. Virtually all rishonim accept that Christianity [the religion] is AZ,
for Gentiles, as well as for Jews.

2. Many rishonim hold that that does not necessarily mean that all the
rules of AZ apply to Christians nowadays. There are various disagreements
about the application of specific halokhos [such as selling them objects
that they can easily obtain elsewhere], and most Christians nowadays are
not real experts in their doctrines [priests and other specific cases
may be exceptions].

(c) 2002 Seth Mandel

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Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2002 10:57:32 -0500
From: "Gil Student" <gil@aishdas.org>
Re: Ebay and auctions on Shabbat

I came across this on the 'net from R' Howard Jachter.


A serious issue that is often raised today is whether one may maintain
one's website to conduct business transactions on Shabbat. Although
this author is unaware of Teshuvot written on this topic, two important
discussions serve as a basis for discussion of website operation on
Shabbat. Dayan Yitzchak Weisz (Teshuvot Minchat Yitzchak 3:34) discusses
the permissibility of maintaining a vending machine in a public area that
operates on Shabbat. He notes many authorities (including Rav Akiva Eiger)
that forbid taking title to items on Shabbat even if the transaction took
place during the weekday. To avoid this problem Dayan Weisz suggests that
the owner declare that he does not take title to the money deposited in
the machine until after Shabbat and that the purchasers acquire title
prior to Shabbat to the items that they will take from the machine on
Shabbat. Prominent rabbis have expressed serious reservations about the
validity of this solution to this author.

Rav Uri Dasberg (Techumin 19:349-363) discusses whether a bank may
allow its automatic teller machines to operate on Shabbat. Among his
suggestions is arranging that the machine display a message urging
customers not to use the machine on Shabbat. Prominent rabbis have
expressed serious reservations about this suggestion as well. Indeed,
Rav Dasberg notes that the late Rav Shlomo Goren forbade Bank Hamizrachi
to keep its ATMs in operation on Shabbat. Accordingly, one should ask
his Rav for a Halachic ruling regarding this serious Halachic issue.

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Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 09:16:56 GMT
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>

I am in the midst of giving some shiurim on the calendar. First, I wish
to publically thank R. Ari Zivotofsky and RYGB for their very useful
article on the machloket of RSG and R. Aaron Ben Meir. Of course there
is the "book" by R. Kasher

Neverthless I have many questions on the development of the permanent
calendar and am looking for help.
The main problem is the a-history of the Talmud, i.e. the complete lack
of any hint of slow changes that occurred during the amoraic times. For
example regarding Ketuva the gemara mentions that there were several
takanot and changes over time. There is nothing similar with regard to
the calendar.

Starting with a simple example of the takanot of blowing shofar on RH +
Shabbat in/outside Jerusalem there is a controversy in Rishonim as to
what happened at various eras in history e.g. before/after Churban.

More to the point it is clear that the various takanot of LO-ADU Rosh
and Molad Zaken did not all occur at the same time. However, it is
difficult to place individual gemaras within this historical context.
In particular, the gemara in Beitzah 4 about keeping 2 days yomtov in
Galut. Is this before or after the days of Hillel II? Shalchu mi-Tam
frequently refers to R. Eliezer which is way before this time.

Most distubing is that a takkanah for a permanent calendar should have
made earth shattering differences in the life of every Jew and yet there
is no hint of this (except for possibly Beitzah) in the gemara. In the
above article they suggest that in fact Hillel II made only minor changes
to the calendar and possibly the really permanent calendar without any
active decision by the bet din in Israel occurred after Rav Ashi. Though
this has its appeal it does not seem to be the shittah of the rishonim.

In addition does anyone know what was done by kehillot far from
Israel. What did the community in Rome do? We know that tannaim visited
Rome shortly after the Churban and there was a community there before
the Churban. I assume it took months for a boat to reach there from
Jerusalem/Yafo. Is there any hint that shilichin were sent abroad even
to Mitzrayim/Alexandria? The Mishna only discusses lighting fires and
messengers to Babylonia.

In the fight between RSG and R. Ben-Meir what did the communties in
Spain and Germany/Italy do?

Finally in a different direction we know that in the days of Shimon Ben
Shetach that the Saducees took over the Sanhedrin. What happened to
kiddush hachodesh at that time?

The gemara at the end of berachot tells the story that the nephew of
R. Yehoshua declared Rosh Chodesh (or maybe only the calculations) in
Bavel. They sent messengers to tewll him to stop this. Were the rabbis in
Israel making their own declarations at the same time or were they waiting
for him to stop before they took over? i.e. was ther fights similar to
RSG and R. Ben-Meir in the days of the Taanaim and 2 sets of holidays?

Thanks for any information

 Prof. Eli Turkel,  turkel@post.tau.ac.il on 12/31/2002
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University

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Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 21:47:01 EST
From: T613K@aol.com
Re: Avodah V10 #70 parsha sheets

From: Joelirich@aol.com
> I found the following on the OU website. Is there some "chiyuv" for shuls
> who distribute these sheets to remind the kahal on a regular basis of
> the proper usage from the standpoint of lfnei iver/msayea or does point
> 4 below mean that if in general the level of "sinning" is reduced, we
> don't need to worry about those (minority) who wouldn't have "sinned"
> without the sheets but now will?

Someone told me there was a pile of parsha sheets on the table in my
father's shul in Migdal Ha'emek--placed there by who knows who, not by
my father. During the Friday night davening someone all the way in the
back of the shul picked up one of those sheets and started reading it.
My father z"tl left his seat at the front of the shul, walked all the
way to the back, and, without saying a word, took the sheet out of the
man's hands, put it back on the table, and returned to his seat. No one
ever read one of those sheets during the davening again.

Toby Katz

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Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2003 05:29:02 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Fwd: dirah batachtonim

On Mon, Dec 23, 2002 at 06:23:02PM -0500, Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer wrote:
: Just to add (VAKML!!) - the Rashab deals there with the reason someone
: attributed to the Ramchal - which I believe is the reason given in Etz
: Chaim (beg. of Shaar Haklolim)...

I attributed it to the Ramchal because it's the opening of Derech
Hashem 1:2, and becomes the central theme of that pereq.

The same idea is found in RSG's Emunos veDei'os.


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Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2003 00:33:06 -0500
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Re: age of the universe

R Natan/Nosson S wrote:
> To strengthen this objection, let us note that the order of events in
> maase Bereishis actually directly contradicts that which we know from
> paleotology, such as that Bereishis places birds before animals, whereas
> the fossil record shows the opposite.

IIRC Schroeder does deal with this aspect satisfactorily. However, I admit 
that the reconcilliation of science and creation are far less difficult than 
science and mabul, etc.

Arie Folger
Men shtarbt nisht fin a kashye.

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Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2003 23:39:05 EST
From: Phyllostac@aol.com
Litvaks and Zemiros Shabbos

I would like to make some comments about Litvaks and zemiros Shabbos
(related to some recent comments about Rav Schach z"l and Rav Aharon
Soloveitchick z"l, 'not singing zemiros').

1) Some Litvaks - esp. the 'hamon am', as opposed to 'gedolim' and big
lomdim / intellectuals - do sing zemiros - at least some - if not all
that are printed. Great people might have better uses for their time -
e.g. important Torah study for which they may skip zemiros - but for
those who wouldn't be learning, that logic / excuse ('bittul Torah')
would seemingly not apply.

2) Even among those who don't sing zemiros, some of them say (at
least some of) them, without singing. I have heard the above practice
explained with the citation of 'zemiros yomeiru', and I think their is
something re 'zoggen a niggun' too. Also, it should be realized that the
zemiros are like religious poetry - and that their essence is not the
melodies people sing them with - rather the (often deep and allusive,
hence elusive) meaning of the words. The melodies can provide a fine
flavor, but they are not the ikkar. Some people don't realize this and
focus on the melodies without grasping / concentrating on the meaning
of the text. The melodies can, if chosen and sung properly, can enhance
the zemiros - but they are in the category of flavoring / spices - as
opposed to the essence, which is the text. Some may be wary of singing
them, as that can take away from the focus on the text / pirush hamilim.

3) Litvaks, biderech klal, stick to the old, 'regular zemiros' - so they
don't sing 'askinu seudoso', for example, which is a later, Kabbalistic
innovation, above the level of the masses. Also, the later addition of
some printers 'Koh echsof noam Shabbos' by the Rebbe of Karlin, would
presumably fall in that category (of being an innovation) as well.

4) We have a klal that 'tov miat bikavonnoh meharbos bilo kavonnoh'
(a small amount with proper intent / concentration is better than a
large amount without it) (brought down in beginning of Shulchan Oruch
Orach Chaim). This important teaching is relevant to zemiros as well.

5) What is the basis of singing Zemiros altogether ? Whatever 'chiyuv'
there may be, should be fulfilled with just a small quantity of zemiros,
one would think. Who says that every single zemer that some printer
decided to print must be sung ?

6) If someone does not enjoy singing, must they force themselves to do
so ? I think that is questionable.....For some people zemiros and music
may be a great enjoyment - for others, like some stereotypical Litvaks,
they may not be. We know that some things (like eating certain foods,
e.g.) that are enjoyable to most are not obligatory on people who do
not enjoy them. So too perhaps, with zemiros Shabbos.

Some Litvaks may not fit into the above framework. Some may have
lost their mesorah in this area and started imitating other different
traditions. Nevertheless, I think, la'aniyus daati, that the above
explains alot of the classic Litvish'er stance on the inyan.


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Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2003 00:47:27 -0500
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Re: meat grows after it's dead

RDR wrote:
> See <http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993208> that
> they're working on growing meat (after slaughter) in the lab. I can't,
> at first glance, think of any halachic problems (as long as the original
> shechitah was OK).

I didn't read the article yet, but IIUC, it should be analogous to an
experiment spearheaded at ... Touro College in Manhattan. A few months
ago somebody there grew fish muscle after it was harvested.

The technique involved taking some fish muscle from a live goldfish. I
don't remember the details of ever min ha'hai WRT fish and lower
animal forms, but for mamal and fowl this would definitely be a major
problem. (I expect the problem should be the same for fish, but am open
to corrections)

Next is how the muscle tissue is grown. It is submerged in bovine blood
serum, which means the whole thing is full of absorbed maakhalot assurot.
Nevertheless it is an area to watch out for. I vaguely remember that
there was a statement in daf yomi during the last two months that was an
interesting starting point for more halakhic research in this area. It
was on the weekly sheets about DY, and was about creating creatures or
something similar.

Arie Folger

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Date: Fri, 03 Jan 2003 10:17:26 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Re: R. Zilberstein

On 2 Jan 2003 at 16:33, Eli Turkel wrote:
> Just returned form a shiur of RZ...
> 1. Once at a sight of a pigua on Jerusalem on shabbat ROY met the minister
> of health (RZ didn't know which minister). He asked the minister how
> he got there and the minister added he had walked a great distance. On
> the spot ROY paskened that next time he should arrange for a nonJewish
> driver to bring him (not outside the techum). He said that the presence
> of the minister encourages both the victims and the emergency crew and
> so is allowed under pikuach nefesh. RZ thought it was a very clever psak.

Nissim Dahan. R. Dahan told the story on the radio last week.

-- Carl

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much.

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Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2003 07:08:09 -0600 (CST)
From: sholom@aishdas.org
Shevus vs Potur

In Mishna Shabbos, various actions are classified as "chayuv" or "potur".

Suddenly, 10:6, the Mishna refers for the first time to an issur derabanan
as a shevus. Why a shevus there, and not potur? Is there a rule when an
issur d'rabanan is referred to as a shevus and when not?

-- Sholom

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Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2003 09:25:55 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>

With regard to R Mendelsohn, several additions

1. Even the Chatham Sofer, who opposed the Biur, referred to him as
rav Moshe Dessau - opposition to possible dangers of the translation
and work were different from the opposition to the individual.

2) even in Hungary, there were people who used the biur - such as the
Maharam Shick (not merely those MO..). In an issue of Tradition, there
is an article describing an incident where the chatham sofer visited the
maharam shick, and asked for a humash - the only humash in the maharam
shick's house was the biur.

3) Even in the 20th century - I have heard that R Yaakov Kaminetsky
studied the biur (perhaps more ammunition against MOAG...)

Meir Shinnar

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Date: Sun, 05 Jan 2003 16:26:58 -0500
From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@bellatlantic.net>
Chatam Sofer

If Harav Moshe Sofer is the posek acharon for all of Israel (or, at least,
Ashkenazim) as has been proclaimed by some on this list [actually, on
Areivim -mi] , then our charedi contingent in Israel may have a serious
problem in halacha.

The Chatam Sofer in his commentary on T.B. Succot 36a (the Gemara on
etrog hakushi), and, I believe, in a teshuva maintained that the heter
for not teaching your son a trade and teaching him only torah applies
specifically to the golah. The obligation to teach a trade is found in
a stam Tosefta in T.B. Kiddushin 29a. Rabban Gamliel and, particularly,
Rebbe Yehuda are mentioned further in the Tosefta as maintaining this
view. In the Mishna at the end of T.B. Kiddushin we find a difference of
view between Rebbe Meir and Rebbe Nehorai on this matter, with the latter
maintaining that he will teach his son only torah. That view of Rebbe
Nehorai is what we rely on in the golah, according to the Chatam Sofer.
In eretz yisrael, however, it is a mitzvah to develop the land, and the
conclusion of the Gemara in T.B. Berachot 35b, is like Rebbi Yishmael (and
not like Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai), that torah with work (derech eretz)
takes precedence over learning torah exclusively. If that is, indeed,
the view of the Chatam Sofer, how is it disregarded by the charedim in
Israel who do hold that Harav Moshe Sofer is the posek acharon? In fact,
how is it disregarded in kollel Chatam Sofer?

Yitzchok Zlochower

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Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2003 17:01:26 -0600 (CST)
From: sbechhof@casbah.it.northwestern.edu
Tehillim ha'Chida

This evening I looked at the Chida inside (I do not have access right
now to a Kitzur Shla"h, I imagine his source, however, is the Chida. Note
that the Kitzur Shla"h is not the Shla"h H"K but a later mechaber).

Tonight I saw it inside. It is in Sansen l'Yair 11:2. The Chida says
the following about a segulah for refuah:

*YILMEDU* [my emphasis] pesukei ha'tehillim mei'osios shemo me'sefer
Likutei Tehillim. In Kaf Achas he formulates a yehi ratzon for after
this limud. The keen insight of my correspondent or earlier today:

Agree with you YG; they may as well have translated the whole section
of segulos at end of Taamei Haminhogim (dozens of them). Though some may
argue im lo yo'il lo yazik, there is definitely a hezek in attitude and
hashkofoh - refelction of chartumei mitzrayim and forgetting the highest
and best seguloh of all ":tomim tihyeh im Hashem Elokecho" (esp. as
interpreted by chazal mereisho leseifo and miseifo lereisho). But
that of course is too simplistic (Na'amon's argument re toiveling
in Jordan) and hocus-pocus, superstition etc. always had magnetic
attraction. Rambam would have a field-day with this reincarnation of
eigel hazohov-syndrome. (Close quote)

... [me again] remains apt and even more incisive. The Chida did not
recommend rote recitation (I was suspicious why the anonymous publishers
of the Tehillim haChida had no haskamos and did not quote the lashon
of the heilige Chida k'leshono - now we know why!) of random pesukim -
he recommended a seder limud!

If one is SAYing Tehillim, then it is evident that one should say them in
the way that is best me'orer the right kavanah and histapchus ha'nefesh -
k'sidro shel Ne'im Zemiros Yisroel zy"a.


22 Adar 5759 - March 10, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly 

Opinion & Comment 
Segulos for Refu'ah 

An excerpt from Tzohar (issue no. IV), a recently published Torah
compilation Because of the many illnesses and terrible tragedies that
have recently occurred, Rachmono litzlan, we are publishing several
segulos for refu'ah taken from the teachings of the gedolei hadoros
zt'l. Naturally, these segulos should be seen as only a supplement to
carrying out our main obligations according to the Torah: doing teshuvah,
exerting ourselves in tefilla, and strengthening ourselves in the full and
internalized emunah that only HaKodosh Boruch Hu heals the sick and causes
salvation to sprout forth, since there is none besides Him (Devorim 4:35).

1) The Kadmonim advise to say chapters 6, 30, and 142 of Tehillim after
the daily tefilla.

2) Likutei Tzvi (pg. 22) writes that when someone is sick or finds
himself in a crisis, he should say, with tears, the tefilla that
Chizkiyohu Hamelech davened when he was sick, since he was eventually
cured (Melochim II 20). In this way he will be both healed and saved
from all harsh Divine judgments. See Sefer Ta'amei HaMinhogim (pg. 319),
who mentions this segulah too. The Vovei HoAmudim writes that even if
someone is not aroused to cry during this tefilla he should nonetheless
say the tefilla "in a crying tone," and that will be considered somewhat
as if he were crying. Likewise, if he says the tefilla for a long time
he will be accorded the merit as if he had said it with tears. Others
claim that if the sick person himself cannot say this tefilla he should
ask his relatives and friends who are distressed by his condition to
say it for him.

3) Maran HaRav Yechezkel Levenstein zt'l, the mashgiach of Ponevezh
Yeshiva, was accustomed to tell others that a wonderful segulah for
refu'ah is saying the brocho of asher yotzar word by word, out loud,
with full kavono and concentration.

This brocho was instituted to thank Hashem for our health, and when
someone truly realizes that everything is from HaKodosh Boruch Hu and
thanks Him for this, he is zoche to the continuation of Divine kindness
and a complete recovery. This is likewise the explanation given in the
Chinuch (mitzvah 430), who writes, "I have a tradition from my mentors,
may Hashem protect them, that anyone who is careful about saying bircas
hamozone properly will be given sufficient food to eat his whole life,
and in a respectable way." By saying bircas hamozone with true devotion,
reading it from a printed bencher, and fully realizing that his entire
livelihood is only from Hashem, a person is zoche to abundance from

4) The Chida zy'a writes (Avodas Hakodesh, Sinsen LeYo'ir, ch. 11
and 12:2) that anyone who has suffered the effects of middas hadin,
Rachmono litzlan, should immediately gather ten upright people to ask
pity for him. First of all they should read all of the scattered pesukim
in Tehillim that start with a letter of his name. For example, if they
are praying for someone called Moshe they should recite all the pesukim
starting with the letter mem, afterwards the pesukim starting with shin,
and later all the letters starting with hei. Furthermore they should
say pesukim that start with the letters of the names of his father and
mother. [Recently a Tehillim HaChida was published, in which all the
pesukim of Tehillim are arranged according to the alef- beis.]

In case of any calamity, may Hashem save us from them, when rachamim is
especially needed, a person should say in the same way the letters of
the name of the city in which this unfavorable condition is prevailing,
Rachmono litzlan. This is a wonderful segulah to be saved from any
misfortune, as is written at the end of the Kitzur HaShloh in the name of
"geonei olom."

Others say that when someone is gravely sick, Rachmono litzlan, the
pesukim of his name and of his father's and mother's names should be
divided among the family members. They should say all the pesukim of the
Tehillim with these letters for forty consecutive days. They should not
divulge to the sick person himself what they are doing. It should remain
a secret.

5) The Kadmonim write, "Saying Shir HaShirim is a segulah for refu'ah. If
said for forty consecutive days it is a segulah for refu'ah and yeshu'ah
in all matters. However, for every particular matter and request it must
be said all over again for forty days."

6) It is cited in the name of the Kadmonim that before taking a medicine
one should say, "May it be for a refu'ah sheleimah by the zechus of
Avrohom, Yitzchok, Yaakov, Soroh, Rivka, Rochel, and Leah." He should
have the kavono that refu'ah comes only from Hashem and that he is taking
the medicine solely to fulfill his obligation to do some hishtadlus.

7) The sefer Tzaddik Yesod Olom of HaRav Shlomo of Zhevihl zy'a (II,
pg. 39) mentions that the Rav zy'a would customarily advise people
who were in a predicament or sick, Rachmono litzlan, to pray for forty
consecutive days at the Kosel Hama'arovi. The sefer also writes that
people living far from the Kosel can do this through a shaliach, to
request of people living nearby to pray for them. See also (pg. 86)
what he writes about this.

8) It is cited in the name of gedolei olom zt'l that a segulah to be
saved from the terrible disease of cancer, Rachmono litzlan, is to study
each day a section of Sefer Tomer Devorah of the Ramak zy'a.

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